From the Parthenon in Athens to the theatre at Epidauros, from idealized sculptures of athletic youths to red-figure vases, ancient Greece produced some of the world's most familiar and enduring art and architecture. The rapid evolution of art that took place in Greece from the eighth to the second century BC established such an influential artistic culture that even today the history of Western art can be seen in terms of reworkings of and reactions to the achievements of Greek artists. In this original and stimulating account Nigel Spivey considers how Greek art was inextricably bound up with the political, religious, philosophical and social circumstances of the period, from the early influence of Minoan and Mycenaean art, through the effect of Athenian democracy to the consequences of the empire building of that most charismatic of Greek heroes, Alexander the Great. The author draws on his first-hand experience of Greek archaeological sites and covers the full range of Greek art - sculpture, pottery, architecture, metalwork, wall-paintings - to produce a book that is comprehensive, lively and thought provoking.
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